Colour is ………. Well, what can I say, it just is. And some of us can use it to advantage and some of us need help.
When I painted in gouache using colour seemed pretty obvious. I painted stylistic landscapes and still lifes and used the colours I saw, or a derivative. This is a watercolour painting of a hibiscus. It was growing in the garden of my little Caribbean apartment.
BTW. This is the first painting I ever made.
It got a bit more complicated when I switched media to fabric. Then it was necessary to suggest colours, find them in the fabric stash, lay them out next to each other and decide if it worked.
Sometimes I had a pre-coloured design I worked from – such as this fractal art quilt Lydia, and sometimes just the line drawing. A minor complication was whether the fabric was solid, tone on tone, or multi-print. But even this could be dealt with by squinting my eyes, looking at the piece of fabric from a distance and gauging the predominant colour.
Then I started working with glass beads. And things got really strange……..
Because now you are working with transparency, metallic finishes, matte and opaque glass. So many different ways light reflects colour. Beads reflect onto each other too, add this into the mix.
One way to get started with colour is to play with an online interactive colour wheel. I found one here – The Interactive Color Wheel.
What’s specially neat about this colour wheel is the bar which pops up on the right hand side. It shows the hue and the tints and shades of a particular colour. Very useful.
After I found this I discovered Interweave were offering a live seminar – Seed Bead Savvy: Get the Most out of Your Seed Bead Colors and Finishes from Beki Haley. She discusses how to understand different seed beads and pick the right ones for your project. Just what I was thinking about. Thoroughly serendipitous I say.